Each week we will introduce you to Spokane area realtors and experts with inside tips and tricks to buy and sell your home as quickly and easily as possible. If you’re looking to buy or sell and not sure who to work with come here first to find the best fit for you. This week’s guest is Laura Branning from Exit Real Estate Professionals in Spokane.
We focused our discussion on the process of selling your home. A recent survey from Zillow said 53% of home sellers are doing so for the first time. There is a lot that goes into it and we wanted to make sure if you are thinking about it that you had a good understanding of the process.
How do you do set the listing price?
It is an art and a science. A lot of things come into play like what area your house is in and what ammentaties and just because you have just painted on the interior does not necessarily mean that it is an increase in price. The sellability of a home and the value are two different things. By talking to a Real Estate Agent instead of getting some number off of the internet is going to give you a more accurate price. Buyers will come if you have actually priced your home correctly.
It is a Sellers Market; so selling your home on your own should be easy, right? Why should they call a Realtor and not sell it themselves?
Sellers know their home and know that they want to get money out of it, but they don’t always know all of the liabilities and material facts. That is why there are professionals. Approximatly 80% of lawsuits come from For Sale By Owner transactions (FSBOs); part of a Realtor’s job is to mediate a situation, to get things resolved before things get out of hand and to get both buyer and seller to closing. This is a collaborative, cooperative community and once there is contract it is the job of the agents to make it a smooth process and to get everyone to the closing table. Hiring a listing agent you should sell for as much if not more and the market conditions don’t play into that as much, right? It is helping you get your home in front of buyers. Approximatly 94% of buyers find their new home online with their Real Estate Agent through the MLS.
Once you have decided to go with a Real Estate Agent to list your home. What happens when you meet with them?
An agent looks over the home to see all of the different ammentaties to find the value in your home. From A to Z; not just listing how many bedrooms and bathrooms, but listing what kind of heat/cooling, flooring, what your roof is made out of and when certain items were updated; anything that someone might find the value in, the listing agent should be looking at.
Should sellers interview more than one Realtor?
You should feel confident and comfortable in your Realtor just as well as your Lender. If you don’t feel comfortable then yes, you should get another opinion because you could possibly be having a lot of tough conversations, so you need to feel confident and comfortable.
How does your home officially go on the market?
There is a whole process of getting your home listed. Getting pictures or drone photography and putting the sign in the yard along with getting all of it posted on the MLS.
How long does it take to get a house on the market?
It does depend on the situation; if you have projects that you want to finish before you put your home up for sale then it will take longer, but as soon as you are ready and you have talked with the listing agent then it could take about 3 to 4 days to get everything done.
How much does it cost to sell your home?
It is going to be about 10%; the agents fees, excise tax and hold back fees for water go into that 10%.
When do you have to pay that money?
Out of your closings and not up front. There could be a retainer fee, but it isn’t very common in our market.
While your home is on the market; do you have any control of when potential buyers come to see your home?
Yes, you will set that up with your listing agent. The buyers agents will contact your agent and they should work around your life. If you are a day sleeper and you work at night then your agent will put that comment in the MLS and only take appointments when you have directed.
Can you be there when it is getting shown?
Yes, you can be, but it is better if you are not. You want to make it seem like it is already someone else’s home and not yours. The more comfortable someone feels in your home the better the possibility that they will want to buy it. Once your home is on the market it is almost like you are renting it to the new people. You want to declutter, get things off of the counters and do some pre-packing. You want to neutralize your home so that it is appealing to the most number of people.
How clean does the house have to be while it is listed for sale?
Of course you have to clean up a bit; put the dishes in the dishwasher, pick up the dirty clothes and picking up the kids toys, etc. But, also you want to take ALL animals with you. Don’t throw everything in the closet as people will usually open most closets and drawers. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
What happens when you get an offer?
The offer is sent from the buyers agent to your agent and then you will go over the offer. There are many different items that could be in the offer that you will want to look at, like home warranties, closing costs, etc. But right now there could be multiple offers and your agent could break each one down on a net proceeds sheet to see what they look like to make it easier for you to compare them. There are different buyers with different financing or no financing; also different closing times, etc.
As a seller you might have a timeline on when you want your home to be sold or you may not have a timeline, but how long this takes depends on the buyers.
There could be a domino effect; you could be buying another home and the buyer could be selling their home. But as a seller you should expect once you put your home on the market and there is a signed around contract that you could be moving within 30 to 45 days. So, having a contingency plan in place is necessary to know what you are going to do next. It does all come down to timing; you might have to stay in a hotel for a few days or somewhere you have chosen in advance is always best, but you can’t always know what is going to happen at the end and you should be flexible.
What happens when you accept an offer?
As long as you have actually accepted the offer because there is a counter-offer situation as well. So, you are not agreed upon until you have mutual acceptance. But once you have mutual acceptance you will now know your timeline. Usually, within the first 10 days is when the inspection is done. You go from contingent to pending after the home inspection is done. Then, once this is done then it is packing and waiting to go to the closing table.
During an inspection things come up and a buyer can ask to have things fixed. Does that mean that you have to fix everything?
You have to have mutual acceptance on the inspection items and there are a number of ways to negotiate this and your agent will help you decide what is best for you. A home inspection is like a homeowners manual for the house.
An inspection is for the buyers to go over the home with a fine tune comb with the help of the inspector. This will be their homeowners manual. The appraisal is done for the bank. The bank is checking on the collateral for the property. The size and value and not the color of the walls. They want to make sure everything is where it is supposed to be.
As a seller, do you need to do anything special for either the inspection or the appraisal?
Pre-packing and decluttering so they can do their job properly. An inspection will take 2 to 3 hours as they look at everything. An appraisal should take about 20 minutes in your home, but they do other things outside your home. They review the comparables. They look at the homes that have been recently sold that compare to your home in size and date built etc to find the value.
When do you get the money?
At closing, after you have signed and the buyer signs and the transaction has recorded at the courthouse is typically when the funds are released. It will be given to you in the form of a check or a wire and this should be decided beforehand. Also, if you have another home you are buying it could go directly to the other home in a simultaneous close.
Where is your favorite place to eat or have a drink in town?
She likes going to places that the bartender or chef really likes doing what they do. Crave downtown, Lance really does a good job at 401 W Riverside Ave Spokane, Washington 99201 (509) 321-7480 and in the valley at the Max at Mirabeau Restaurant Bar and Lounge at 1100 N Sullivan Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99037 (509) 922-6252. At the Max Courtney she is hands down the best. She is phenomenal. Laura likes a dirty martini anywhere she goes.
Where can you find Laura?
You can call her at (509) 954-5647 or email at LauraEBranning@gmail.com